Senator Edward M. Kennedy: Friend, Ally and Civil Rights Champion

WASHINGTON DC – The NAACP family is saddened by the passing of Senator Edward M. Kennedy.

“Senator Kennedy was a courageous leader for civil and human rights.  He championed more civil rights initiatives than any other Senator in U.S. history,” said NAACP President and CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous.  “Even as he took his last breath, he was passionately fighting for the health care reform our nation critically needs.  His dedication and vision will be profoundly missed.  The thoughts and prayers of the entire NAACP family go out to the Kennedys at this time of sorrow and mourning.”

“The world has suffered an incalculable loss, our nation has lost a lion, and the movement for social justice has lost its greatest legislative champion.  He will be much missed and he will not be replaced,” stated Julian Bond, Chairman of the NAACP Board of Directors.

“Senator Kennedy was a true friend to the NAACP and the causes of civil rights throughout his entire career.  Civil Rights, human rights and health care, among others, were issues that were far from just political for Senator Kennedy, they were personal.  He was always so passionate and inspiring on the floor of the Senate, at forums and in his every-day dealings with the NAACP that everyone he came in contact with would walk away with a renewed sense of purpose and commitment to issues of human dignity and justice,” stated Hilary O. Shelton, Senior Vice President for Advocacy and Director of the NAACP’s Washington Bureau.  “The entire NAACP family is deeply saddened by this loss.  Senator Kennedy was a political strategist like no other and not only have we lost an ally, but we have lost one of the giants in the Civil Rights movement,” concluded Shelton.

Founded in 1909, the NAACP is the nation's oldest and largest civil rights organization. Its members throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities, conducting voter mobilization and monitoring equal opportunity in the public and private sectors.


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